priority

noun
pri·​or·​i·​ty | \ prī-ˈȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce priority (audio) , -ˈär-\
plural priorities

Definition of priority

1a(1) : the quality or state of being prior
(2) : precedence in date or position of publication used of taxa
b(1) : superiority in rank, position, or privilege
(2) : legal precedence in exercise of rights over the same subject matter
2 : a preferential rating especially : one that allocates rights to goods and services usually in limited supply that project has top priority
3 : something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives

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Synonyms for priority

Synonyms

precedence, right-of-way

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Examples of priority in a Sentence

Reorganizing the sales force will be a top priority for the new president. Getting the work done on time is a priority for me. She decided to go to the party instead of studying? Where are her priorities? I know you want to buy a new stereo, but right now, saving for college has to take priority.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The world had taught me that my highest priority in life was to secure the affections of a man like you: 6-foot-2, white, American, a New York banker. Reema Zaman, Vogue, "The Woman I Would Have Been Had I Let Myself Love You," 13 Feb. 2019 Among her priorities: quality affordable health care, lower prescription drug prices, diversifying the economy, and public safety. Jill Filipovic, Harper's BAZAAR, "Your State-by-State Guide to Women Running in the Midterms," 31 Oct. 2018 Your priority is controlling the plane, not tending to the pilot. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Land an Airplane, According to Bear Grylls," 27 Aug. 2018 The main priority is finding another right-handed hitting catcher to serve as a back-up/platoon mate with Omar Narvaez. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Mariners still looking to add another right-handed hitting catcher," 20 Feb. 2019 But the top priority after the holidays is to begin the process of putting real policy meat on the GND bones — hammering out an actual policy platform. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 The top priority now, the White House official said, is to ensure that the new limits on unions are enforced throughout the government. Lisa Rein, Anchorage Daily News, "New curbs on federal unions begin to take effect," 9 July 2018 Michalak said the Marlins’ priority is to develop starting pitching. Ray Glier, USA TODAY, "Ups and downs of minor league bullpens," 5 July 2018 My family will always remain my top priority and greatest gig. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Fans of 'Last Call' Are Panicking After Carson Daly Announces He's Quitting the Show," 18 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'priority.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of priority

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

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Statistics for priority

Last Updated

6 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for priority

The first known use of priority was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for priority

priority

noun

English Language Learners Definition of priority

: something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first
US : the things that someone cares about and thinks are important
: the condition of being more important than something or someone else and therefore coming or being dealt with first

priority

noun
pri·​or·​i·​ty | \ prī-ˈȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce priority (audio) \
plural priorities

Kids Definition of priority

: a condition of being more important than other things

priority

noun
pri·​or·​i·​ty | \ prī-ˈȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce priority (audio) \
plural priorities

Legal Definition of priority

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: precedence in exercise of rights in the same subject matter secured interests have priority over unsecured ones

priority

adjective

Legal Definition of priority (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having precedence over another in the exercise of rights in the same subject matter a priority creditor a priority claim
2 : of or relating to priority a priority contest

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More from Merriam-Webster on priority

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with priority

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for priority

Spanish Central: Translation of priority

Nglish: Translation of priority for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of priority for Arabic Speakers

Comments on priority

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